With all the huff and puff about "top css galleries" and "top designers to follow on twitter" and "how to be a rockstar designer" floating around the web these days it's hard to feel like your work has any value. Because it's all about who you know and not what you know, right?
So I'm proposing a, well... not so new, perspective for the rest of us "non-rockstar" designers out there. A frame of mind where we stop comparing ourselves among ourselves and instead start building each other up with encouraging comments and constructive criticisms. What would/could happen if we disembarked from our present journey of searching endless hours on so-called "inspirational" sites and started looking inward for our own inspiration?
Someone once told me that the best way to get is to give.
I don't mean to sound all "new-agey" dr. feelgood, living in a world of rainbows and unicorns. I know we all have dark days where nothing inspires us and we can't find any thread of motivation. But again, we can't simply focus on ourselves at times like this, then we're no better than those self-indulgent "rockstars". Someone once told me that the best way to get is to give. And I like to take that literally, meaning that the more I give my time or my skills to help someone else out, I always end up with more inspiration in the end. It's that creative "bump-in-the-road" we all come to, and how we get over it depends on our drive, desire and our knowing we can do better. If you haven't seen the video of Ira Glass talking about the creative process, he explains it much better than I ever could.
But why then do I consider myself the worst designer? Because that's how I feel right now, measuring myself up against giants like Jason Santa Maria or The Perel Trio or Rob Morris. These guys are on top of their game right now, and while it's great to see and admire their work, it leaves me feeling less than adequate to redesign my own site. But honestly, this is just another bump in the road (like I mentioned earlier) that I have to cross. And because I have become comfortable enough with myself to know that more often than not my work is solid, I know this isn't the end of the road.
So while I wade through the thick muck of designers block, I came up with a list of ideas to help get the juices flowing.
Take a walk. Dance a jig. Get some sun. Don't take yourself to serious. Cook something ethnic. Play the 3 chords you know on guitar. Go get coffee. Tell a bad joke, to yourself, and laugh. Look at the way a leaf is made. Overhear someone else's conversation. Write it down. Remember it later. Get some sleep.
Note: I'm putting this out there as a practice to not be perfect. My hope is that it helps you, whoever you are/wherever you are, get through all the distractions in our lives that want to clog us up. We will never get anywhere by standing still, and we will never succeed by being busy.